Edited Q&A
  • What are your memories of the coronation?

    I was just nine-years-old and a page to my grandmother who was mistress of the robes, a senior helper to Princess Elizabeth.

    My grandmother assured the Duke of Norfolk that I would behave myself, so I was allowed to be the page, although I was the youngest person with an active part to play. Prince Charles and Princess Anne were there as spectators.

    It was an enormous privilege and I was aware of that.

    My parents had a house in Mayfair and my father had arranged for the Devonshire family coach to come down from Chatsworth with horses from the local brewery and coachmen in uniform to take us from this house in Mayfair to Westminster Abbey.

    At some unearthly hour of 6am in the morning, the coach arrived and we set off. There were huge crowds in London and so we got some cheers. The next thing that I remember is that we got lost!

    My sword got caught in the lining of my father’s robes and ripped the lining of his robes. Almost before his foot had landed on the pavement, there was a person with a needle of thread. They had thought of everything.

    I was whisked off with my grandmother and we had rehearsed six or seven times. Although it was different with many more people, it wasn’t too scary. When the procession arrived, the Queen was at the front and she had train held by six maids of honour and behind the Queen’s train was my grandmother and me holding her train.

    I remember going up the aisle in Westminster Abbey and how close everybody seemed. It was quite a narrow space.

    The service proceeded and the most difficult thing I had to do was holding the train behind my grandmother during one part of the ceremony. You have to keep the pressure on the train the same, but then my grandmother had to walk backwards. I had to get my hand so that she didn’t fall over which was quite nerve-wrecking.

    I remember the noise when the Queen was crowned and the crown was put on her head. Everybody said ‘God saved the Queen’.

  • There are big celebrations coming up. What are your plans to celebrate?

    We’ll be here at Chatsworth. The celebrations will be very local and we’ll have a bonfire between Chatsworth House and the village for the local community. There will be food and drink beforehand.

    It will be low-key and traditional. I think everybody will focus on their local [area]. We’ll be part of that.

  • Chatsworth is calling this the ‘year of celebration’. What does this mean to you?

    It started with the Queen’s Jubilee. Added to that we’ve got an exhibition at the House called ‘Living with Art we Love’, which is art that we have accumulated during the last 50 years. It’s a celebration of a lifetime of collecting.

    In the park we have the art of Burning Man. You probably know about Burning Man in the desert in Nevada and this is some of the artwork from there that has been brought over. In the spirit of Burning Man, it’s absolutely free. It’s never been in the UK before and it’s a great privilege to be chosen by Burning Man to share their works of art in Derbyshire.

Matt Beddall
About Matthew Beddall

Matthew is the director in charge of our Sheffield office, responsible for managing significant funds for Investec Wealth & Investment’s clients. As well as managing investments on behalf of individuals and trustees, Matthew looks after a number of large charity and pension fund clients. With his colleagues, Matthew has also built the Sheffield office’s successful provision of services to independent financial advisers (IFAs) in the region. Matthew firmly believes in establishing a strong relationship with his clients and making sure all clients are introduced to other members of his team to ensure their needs can be met at all times.